Since I haven't updated the dusty ol' blog in months, I'll begin with my pregnancy! The pregnancy went very well. Morning sickness was manageable and it lasted until about 21 weeks. Once I was past that, the pregnancy flew by! I felt great up until the last couple of weeks where I felt the general fatigue and heaviness of being very pregnant! Overall, for experiencing my first pregnancy in my 40s, I felt great.
This photo was taken at 27 weeks.
About five days before the birth, I had my 39 week appointment. At this appointment, we discussed our desired plan. Since I dilate early, have issues with postpartum hemorrhage, and I feel strongly about having my own doctor deliver my babies, we decided to schedule an induction. For me, this means breaking my water. The plan was for me to come in at 5:30am on Monday, April 20th. Though I loved the idea of getting as close to the due date as possible, I was a little nervous about not making it another five days, and missing my doctor.
Three days later, on Saturday, contractions began in the evening. They didn't hurt at all, but were coming regularly. I decided to get into the bath to see if they would slow down. They did, so I pretty much stayed in bed and rested.
The next day, Sunday, the very same thing happened. Except this time, the contractions were more consistent and a few were uncomfortable. I again, got into the bath and then went to bed. But they kept coming. I prayed that God would allow me to make it just a few more hours so that I could get to the hospital when my doctor would be on duty. There are a few doctors in the practice who may not be as open to some of my birth wishes. In addition to that, if I were to have an emergency situation arise, I prefer to have my own doctor make critical decisions on my behalf. In the end, however, I knew that I would have to trust God with whatever direction the birth would go.
After several hours of debating whether or not to go to the hospital, contractions finally slowed down. We went to bed, and then got up at before dawn to arrive at the hospital at 5:30.
After we checked in, we were told I would be delayed because a string of women came in during the night with ruptured water bags, so the rooms filled up. We decided to walk a bit to try and get things going again. Contractions started up at about 9am. Around that same time, the staff decided to put me in a pre-op room to at least get things going until a room opened up. I tested GBS positive, so I would need antibiotics before delivery. They put me on the monitors, got my IV going, and started antibiotics. The contractions kept coming and they were getting more consistent and stronger. Each time I had one, I could feel my bag of water bulging. I was concerned that my water would break on its own before getting into a room. Normally, I would gladly want my water to break on its own, but for this birth I had decided to have an epidural. As with Grace's birth, and the concern of postpartum hemorrhage, I opted for the epidural so that I could avoid general anesthesia if an emergency arose. And since I had made that decision to have an epidural, I was not the least bit interested in feeling the pains of labor AFTER my water breaks. lol I wanted to get to my room, have the epidural, and then have my water broken! It's funny how once that decision has been made, all my mental toughness just disappears. Ha!
It was now nearing 11am and still no room. At this point, a sweet friend of mine who was with us went to tell a nurse that I was no longer an "induction", that I was IN labor! Shortly after that, a room was ready and things got moving quickly. Within the next half hour, I was settled in my room, received my epidural, and had my water broken at 12:15. I was already 5 centimeters dilated at that point.
Whew! We made it!
Immediately after my water was broken, I had several good contractions. But after a while, they started to lessen in intensity and get farther apart. Darn epidural! It has a way of slowing things down sometimes. We were diligent to try different positions to get baby into a good position. A couple hours later, I was 7 centimeters. I was encouraged that progress had been made despite contractions slowing down. At that point, I told the nurse that I have very fast transitions, and that all I need is one or two good contractions and I will be complete. We had a lull in contractions, so we just waited. And sure enough, I had one really good contraction and suddenly felt "that" pressure. I asked my husband to get a nurse to check me. I was complete! Hooray!
I ended up pushing for a half hour, which is very unusual for me. But the doctor said the baby's head still needed to turn a bit. I remember laughing at how hard I had to work compared to previous births where pushing lasted only minutes.
Our beautiful Anna Faith was born at 3:29p, April 20, 2015. She weighed 8 lbs 4 oz and was 20 3/4 inches long. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
The delivery went smoothly and I had no immediate bleeding issues. Since I have a history of postpartum hemorrhage, I have to have pitocin immediately following the birth. This aids my uterus in contracting properly to avoid excess bleeding. All was well for the next eight hours.
Greg and I were just settling in for the night, and suddenly the bleeding started up in earnest. Greg went to get the nurse, and there began the well-versed rounds of uterine massage, manual sweeps for clots, injections, and more pitocin. It was very painful. I remember thinking how glad I was that I had had the epidural during labor, because all of this after "stuff" is like a second labor. Ouch!
The nurses were amazing! They ended up calling the L & D nurses who are more experienced with hemorrhages, and they worked diligently to get things under control. A short while later, I was back on track and extremely thankful for the skill and wisdom of these nurses.
Amazingly, my blood pressure never dropped, and all my blood work came back normal. What a praise!
After a two-day stay, it was time to go home! This photo was taken as we were waiting to be discharged.
Here is our little darling at one week old!
Our oldest baby girl (22) with our youngest baby girl! :)
We are so grateful for Anna, our 11th child. Never in a million years would I have thought we'd have eight daughters! Our three boys handle all this "girl madness" quite well. They are sweet brothers! :)
I hope this birth story wasn't too scattered and poorly written. My goal was to get it up quickly, or I probably would never get it done due to.....life! I was going through my drafts, and seeing that I have tons of them waiting to be finished. Maybe someday I can get back to blogging, but for now, life is bursting at the seams and I don't want to miss it!